Although it has hardly deterred enthusiasts, overclocking is a serious and risky business. Typically if your processor dies because you pushed too hard while overclocking, you are left with an expensive piece of silicon that Intel won’t take back even if you wave the 3-year warranty contract before their face. But now you have reasons to cheer. Intel has announced a new Performance Tuning Protection Plan under which it will replace selected processors damaged by overclocking as long as the processor is covered by the original 3-year warranty. So if you have held yourself back from overclocking your new Sandy Bridge out of fear of burning your processor and cooking your motherboard, it’s time to open your toolbox.
Under the new scheme, for a small fee consumers will be able to purchase one-time protection for their processor from damage when they experiment with overclocking features. The plan doesn't extend the standard three year warranty, but merely provides additional protection to those users that like to push their hardware. Intel will only provide a one-time replacement as long as the user meets the criteria of the plan.
The Performance Tuning Protection Plan covers the following CPUs:
- Core i5-2500K - $20
- Core i7-2600K - $25
- Core i7-2700K - $25
- Core i7-3930K - $35
- Core i7-3960X - $35
The program starts as of January 18, 2012, at 12:01AM PST and will last for six months. Evidently, it’s an experimental pilot program and Intel wants to run it as trial for six months.
These plans are only available on retail, boxed CPUs and not on OEM equipment. Interestingly, the plans can be transferred between owners if you sell your CPU and you're allowed to own multiple plans, just not on the same CPU. Finally, you can't request a replacement CPU in the first 30 days of purchasing the plan.
Consumers who already own the CPUs can also access the plan by signing up at the Intel website.
[via Tom’s Hardware]